The Ethics of Elfland

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By chance I am reading through Orthodoxy by G.K Chesterton at the same time that we are watching the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings  (Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work). Reflecting the one work into the other leads to interesting insights and observations.

What is it about the scale and scenery of The Fellowship of the Ring that engenders such a sense of magic? It isn’t the scale itself. There are both large and small things. The fact of elves?

I think Chesterton has the sense of it when he talks of the Ethics of Elfland, and how our wonder of the world is at odds with what the modern sciences blithely assure us are the laws of the universe. But there is no real sense of magic and wonder in the scientific patterns of coincidence.

Yet there is in the possibilities of Elfland. One and two will always be three, but the tree might be a dryad, awake or asleep; the river might flood with waves shaped like horses. It is magical when the same thing happens over and over, dawn to dawn or dusk to dusk, because at any moment it might be different. The sense of wonder is there, unobscured by “laws” of science.

So into wonder … and Moria … we go.

Coming of age at 21 …

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Today celebrates 21 years of marriage for Me and Betsy. We have reached the age of majority.

So today will be a panorama of that growth to majority.

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It is interesting what photos we had, and what sort of things we took. The eras where I disappeared from our files, and the longer ones where Betsy disappeared — the role of photographer drifted back and forth. Finding the together pictures was the hardest.

So enjoy a stroll through 21 years.

s’io ti vedess’una sol volt’il giorno

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993354_10201808815886200_191468894_nOkay, I sing the above madrigal most every fall. I tried sticking the title into Google translate — failed fairly spectacularly. Yet the thought, in English, is what I want to write about today.

s’io ti vedess’una sol volt’il giorno

s’io ti vedess’una sol volt’il giorno

Contento ne staria, contento ne staria, tutta la sera

Contento ne staria, contento ne staria, tutta la sera

“Ah, could my eyes behold they every morning, Contented would my heart at evening rest …”

There are a lot of Romantic songs and ballads out there about love, but I think the theme of this one is of the more overlooked themes of love — Contentment. Satisfaction in the presence of the beloved. There can be passion and excitement, but they aren’t the thing that creates the long haul.  Contentment is the true glue.

To be able to lie down at night besides your beloved, and to know that you will see them in the morning.  Contentment.

To know that every day will be “right” because they are there, even knowing there will be fights, and misunderstandings.  Contentment.

To spend every day knowing you have a place and a someone to come home to, that it is their presence that makes it home.  Contentment.